A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sept. 5.

Nice and Monte Carlo, Part Two - On our second day in the Riviera, we daytripped to Monte Carlo. If Nice wasn't an unending monument to luxury, I expected Monaco to pick up the slack. In honor of that, I decided to have caviar for breakfast. At the Monoprix supermarket, I bought a bag of brioche and a jar of oeufs de lompe, little and crunchy black eggs. The meal was in total under four euros but between it and the champagne, I was doing my best millionaire impression. By the time the train rolled into the station, I'd finished half of the fishy dip and Vince and I were off maneuvering the lofty climes of the city. It seemed like everywhere we went meant ascending mountainous staircases or breathlessly scaling up tall hilly curves. Down below, the water looked regal in the shadow of cruise ships.

That everything in Monte Carlo was picturesque was no surprise. That most of the restaurants weren't at all prohibitive took me more aback. Maybe I've been inured by Manhattan prices, but a dinner prix-fixe at most of the inviting bistros apppeared downright reasonable. Still, I resisted their Circe calls, headed back to Nice around six and had more of my caviar and brioche instead. Damian and Lynne returned from Monaco's beach next and Vince turned up around seven. We talked some more, they cooked, I wrote and we ended up back on the beach with new bottles to conclude the night.

The next day was supposed to be my beach day. Apparently, that was the plan all around as we each gathered at the window expectantly. "It's looking quite ordinary out," Lynne said charmingly to describe the grey soup brewing outside. Soon, it was misting, drizzling and chilly, definitively dashing my plans for a swim. Instead, I spent all day walking or writing until the rainstorm that had been building all day burst. It sent me into the refuge of a Virgin Megastore, where I bought a French-English dictionnaire, tired of half-assing my way through the country. I had spent three weeks learning the language in early 2004, before being hired at the law firm ended that pursuit. Now that I had the time and the interest though, I could finally make good on the goal.

When the rain dissipated, I found myself back in front of Ah-Ha Chinese Fast Food. Missing Thai food like a cokehead misses rolling up dollar bills, I ordered their Poulet Thai Curry, a milky orange chicken curry with squash, peppers and potatoes. It sated my craving and was decent enough, but it also made me miss the marvels of Sripraphai. Then I had the idea of spooning in healthy doses of hot sauce and pickled chilis. Suddenly, it went from average to exciting, lighting up the roof of my mouth. It wasn't at all what I was expecting to find in Nice, but it did give an otherwise ordinary day some much-needed heat.


Anonymous charlotte personal injury lawyer said...

Great story about Monte Carlo. Thanks for sharing your experience.

1:51 PM  

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